Last night, March 14, the Wilton Police Department bestowed awards to its officers who had gone above and beyond the call of duty during 2015. Their annual Awards Ceremony treated about 80 people to an event celebrating the bravery and commitment of several recipients to the code of “serve and protect.”

The ceremony was sponsored by the Wilton Rotary Club. and held at Trackside Teen Center.

Chief Robert Crosby presented the awards following welcome remarks from the first selectman Lynne Vanderslice, chair of the police Commission, Don Sauvigne, and Richard Kent, Rotary Club president.

Sauvigne thanked the officers of the Wilton Police Department, noting their team commitment to “serve and protect” the citizens of Wilton. “There are only a few professions committed to serve and protect. They’re here for us 24/7, no matter what time of day, no matter what the weather is or the demands of their personal life. Tonight we honor all the men and women of the police department for their service to us.”

Most notably, the award for Officer of the Year was given to Ofc. John Godfrey, who has been with Wilton’s police force since 1986. As Crosby read in his introduction, the award “is granted to one member of the Wilton Police Department each year who distinguishes him/herself from his/her peers by actions which represent the highest standards of the police profession.”

Godfrey joined the Wilton force in 1989. He is the current Records Officer for the department, and Chief Crosby said Godfrey goes “above and beyond what is expected of him.”

“While the majority of Ofc. Godfrey’s work is done behind the scenes, it is his attention to detail that ensures a level of professionalism portrayed by our agency to the courts, other law enforcement agencies and the community at all,” Crosby praised.

In addition, this was the first year that the Community Police Officer of the Year award was given out. Created to memorialize Sgt. Thomas “TJ” Tunney, who passed away in early January 2016, the award recognizes an officer who has distinguished himself or herself by actions demonstrating a high level of community service, with particular emphasis on the values of integrity, respect, professionalism and community support. The award was named for Tunney in honor of his tremendous involvement with and care for the citizens of Wilton.

Tunney was also the first recipient of the Community Police Officer of the Year, and it was awarded posthumously. Tunney’s sister and other family members accepted the award from Crosby.


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